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Kellogg to permanently replace 1,400 striking factory workers

Kellogg Co.
K,
-1.68%

says it is permanently replacing about 1,400 of its striking factory workers, ending a labor feud between employees and the cereal brand.

“The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to hire permanent replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers,” the company said in a statement Tuesday night.

From the archives (November 2021): Kellogg raises sales guidance despite labor strike

Workers had been striking for a variety of reasons including issues surrounding compensation, benefits and cost of living, according to its union’s website.

Earlier on Tuesday, striking Kellogg workers “overwhelmingly voted to reject” a five-year offer from Kellogg that would have given employees a 3% raise.

The strike began on Oct. 5 and took place for employees at factories in Battle Creek, Mich.; Omaha, Neb.; Lancaster, Pa.; and Memphis, Tenn.

According to the Associated Press, one of the specific obstacles in the negotiations has been the company’s wage system that gives newer workers lower pay and fewer benefits. About 30% of the cereal plant workforce receives these lower wages.

Striking workers Michael Rodarte, Sue Griffin, Michael Elliott and Mark Gonzalez outside the Omaha, Neb., cereal plant on Dec. 2.

AP

Kellogg makes popular cereals like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Rice Krispies, and had been hiring contract workers to keep up with product demand during the strike.

The Kellogg workers on strike were represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union — the BCTGM union did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment on this story.

See: Strikes are 257% up in 2 years, even though labor union membership is down — why more workers are taking a stand

The news comes as the so-called Great Resignation of U.S. workers slowed in October, but over 4 million people still quit their jobs.

Kellogg stock was down 2.3% in early afternoon trading on Wednesday, compared with a drop of 0.1% for the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.31%
.

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